“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ – Matthew 25:40
Throughout 2011 we have seen the unity between ICOC churches and HOPE worldwide continue to grow and strengthen in incredible ways. The members of the HOPE worldwide and Benevolence Committee have played an important role in forging greater unity through their support and service by continuing to meet together on a quarterly basis and active email exchanges of information.
The Committee has met consistently and with representation from across the US, with 12-18 people in attendance on typical conference calls. Additional representation on the Committee from ministers outside of the U.S. remains a goal. Several members of the Committee attended the 20th anniversary celebration of HOPE worldwide at the Global Summit in May. The Committee also met at the ALC in Boston for a dinner meeting. All U.S. Committee members were in attendance, with their spouses. There are plans to meet in person twice in 2012 (one meeting at the World Discipleship Summit) and two times by conference call.
Following the Miami ILC in 2010, the Committee established a subcommittee structure in order to empower members to make more active contributions to the Committee, as well as to divide into smaller groups to help facilitate meeting more regularly. The Subcommittees include Church Relations, Community Service, 2020 Vision and Disaster Response and are led by a chair and supported by a HOPE worldwide representative.
One of the major accomplishments by the Committee over the past year has been the creation of a disaster response protocol developed in large part by the Disaster Response Subcommittee. The disaster response protocol has proven to be an excellent tool for vetting opportunities with the churches in the wake of disasters. Since developing the protocol, the Committee has been responsible for evaluating church involvement in several disasters in 2011. The protocol helped the Committee offer recommendations to churches about how to best help after the earthquake in Japan and the uprisings in the Ivory Coast. More than $50,000 was raised for Japan relief and over $650,000 was collected for Ivory Coast in 2011 through church collections. Thank you!
INTERNATIONAL DAY OF GIVING
The International Day of Giving (IDG) in 2010 raised more than $700,000 from over 60 U.S. churches (as well as some non-US churches). We are incredibly grateful for the outpouring of support for this annual campaign. The Church Relations subcommittee has been responsible for advising HOPE worldwide about plans and communications for IDG. The Committee has also helped with spreading the word about IDG as members are asked to help others in their regions join the campaign. At the time of this report, IDG 2011 is well underway with the collection day taking place on Sunday, November 20. The goal is for more than $900,000 in unrestricted donations from U.S. churches. Through the counsel of the Committee, HOPE worldwide has focused on communicating and assisting the top 16 largest churches (in membership size) for the 2011 IDG, although all churches have received active support for IDG events in their congregations. ICOC HotNews and Disciples Today have been wonderful partners in sharing information with churches about IDG. International Day of Giving 2012 will take place on Sunday, November 18, 2012.
The Committee is very thankful to the churches and all the saints for their tireless efforts on behalf of the poor. HOPE worldwide has been regularly featured in regional conferences and leadership gatherings. We pray that together we can achieve even greater things in serving the poor in the coming year. Please continue to prayer for HOPE worldwide.
For the HOPE worldwide and Benevolence Committee,
John Causey and Mark Templer